Arthur Masuaku must “start fighting” for his place in West Ham’s starting XI after Aaron Cresswell took his place at left-back, according to Noel Whelan.
The 25-year-old has not played for the Hammers since picking up a suspension against Aston Villa in September, and has seen his English counterpart score twice in three games since returning to the lineup.
And BBC Radio Leeds pundit Whelan believes that Masuaku must put up more of a battle to regain his position.
Speaking to Football Insider, he said: “Everyone wants to see someone who is going to fight for their position and be a team player, it’s not just about the first-eleven, it’s about all the players in the squad.
“He [Cresswell] has bided his time, taken his chance, made it his own and now it’s up to Masuaku to start fighting and show the manager he wants that spot back. It’s healthy competition and that’s the only way you get success.”
Masuaku must feel fairly thunderstruck at the moment. After Cresswell’s disastrous opening day outing against Manchester City, and after a decent run of form himself, it looked as if the Congolese international was a nailed on fixture in Manuel Pellegrini’s side. Instead, after a contestable red card and an unexpected run of goalscoring prowess from Cresswell, he now very much finds himself own the periphery of the Hammers’ plans. In many respects, you have to feel sorry for him. Not only has he been a victim of misfortune, but he has also recorded more tackles, interceptions, clearances, and a higher Whoscored rating per game than Cresswell so far this term. He will get another chance at some point, surely, but he has to make sure that he is fully ready and waiting to pounce upon it.